Pollution

By Lachlan Markay | June 24, 2010 | 1:28 PM EDT
As Interior Secretary Ken Salazar prepares a new moratorium on offshore oil drilling after the last one was shot down by a federal judge Wednesday, lost on the media seems to be Salazar's dishonesty in promoting the policy thus far. Very few have reported that he misrepresented the position of a team of experts designed to look into the costs and benefits of the moratorium.

In reality, the seven-member panel, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, said Salazar's proposed moratorium would be "punishing the innocent." The policy "will not measurably reduce risk further," the panel explained, "and it will have a lasting impact on the nation's economy which may be greater than that of the oil spill."

Despite the panel's clear opposition to the policy, Salazar implied that they supported the moratorium. Salazar was forced to apologize after the panel publicly rebuked the Secretary's implications. "The Secretary should be free to recommend whatever he thinks is correct," said one member of the panel, "but he should not be free to use our names to justify his political decisions."
By Joseph C. Phillips | June 22, 2010 | 4:00 PM EDT

Editor's Note: The following originally appeared at Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood.

Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, film director Spike Lee implored President Obama to infuse his handling of the Gulf oil spill with more emotion. Demonstrating the astute analysis we have come to expect from the director, Lee implored Obama to “one time, go off.”

Perhaps he is of the same mind as Bill Maher, that the authentic black man is one who is always armed and resorts to violence and loud-talking when things do not go his way. (Note to self: On the way home from the liquor store, I must pick up my Glock from the gun shop.)

Both Lee and Maher seem to share the opinion of a great many progressives that emotion is the same as leadership and that problems are most easily solved by decree. It is no mistake that following criticism by Lee and others, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was declaring to the media that he had “seen rage from him [President Obama].” Apparently, when Obama gets angry, he clinches his jaw.

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2010 | 2:57 PM EDT

Via the Associated Press (link may be dynamic and subject to change): 

A federal judge in New Orleans has blocked a six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling projects that was imposed in response to the massive Gulf oil spill.

The White House says President Barack Obama's administration will appeal.

Several companies that ferry people and supplies and provide other services to offshore drilling rigs had asked U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman in New Orleans to overturn the moratorium.

This later paragraph from AP's breaking news report explains why I believe Ken Salazar's dissenting experts from the National Academy of Engineering may have influenced the judge's outlook on the case:

Feldman says in his ruling that the Interior Department failed to provide adequate reasoning for the moratorium. He says it seems to assume that because one rig failed, all companies and rigs doing deepwater drilling pose an imminent danger.

Feldman's take seems to mirror the language of the dissenting experts.

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 22, 2010 | 12:20 PM EDT
CNN correspondent Jeanne Moos has a penchant for quirky, off-beat reporting, but what happens when the eccentric newswoman gives a more accurate picture of important events than the serious journalists?

While media outlets relentlessly denounced BP CEO Tony Hayward for taking Saturday off to participate in a yacht race, they mostly glossed over or completely ignored President Barack Obama's Saturday golf outing with Vice President Joe Biden.

It was left to CNN's resident humorist to connect the dots.

"It's the yachting versus golf smack down, round one," declared Moos. "BP's CEO gets pummeled for taking a day off to watch his yacht race...CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller says already President Obama has played 39 rounds of golf, compared to the 24 George Bush played his entire presidency."
By Jeff Poor | June 21, 2010 | 6:14 PM EDT

Usually when you see something on the Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog, you ignore it (or at best take it with a grain of salt) because you know its fundamental objective is to score some inane point against conservatives or the Republican Party.

But a June 21 post by Tanya Somanader, categorized as "Radical Right-Wing Agenda" was too hard to let go. In her post, "Fact Checking Sarah Palin: Joe Barton Reflects The Philosophy Of Over 115 Republicans" Somanader used guilt by association to back up White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel's claim that the ill-advised remarks of Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, were indicative the GOP's "larger philosophy."

Former Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin attacked Emanuel for the claim he made on the June 20 broadcast of ABC's "This Week" on her Twitter feed:

RahmEmanuel= as shallow/narrowminded/political/irresponsible as they come,to falsely claim Barton's BP comment is "GOP philosophy"Rahm,u lie

By NB Staff | June 21, 2010 | 4:39 PM EDT

Managing Editor's Note: I saw this earlier today on RedState and asked the artist for permission to republish here. You can check out more of Toby Dials's work at TobyToons.com and follow him on Twitter here.

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2010 | 11:28 PM EDT
US_department_logoA Friday report by reporters Matthew Lee and Eileen Sullivan indicates that there is a serious shortage of critical thinking skills over at the Associated Press, or a serious desire to run interference for the Obama administration no matter how ignorant doing so makes the wire service's reporters appear.

Lee and Sullivan try to excuse the State Department's inaction on the vast majority of roughly 60 specific offers of assistance from over twenty nations, many of which go back to late April and early May (detailed in a 4-page State Dept. PDF here), because almost all of the offers are being made with an expectation that the costs of such assistance will be reimbursed. By my count:

  • 15 of those assistance offers involve the provision of "containment boom" to protect beaches, shoreline, and other sensitive areas.
  • Roughly 10 of those 15 containment boom offers are over a month old, and a few were made on or before April 30, over fifty days ago.
  • Out of all 60 offers made involving all forms of goods and services, roughly a half-dozen have been accepted.

The reason Lee and Sullivan cast these offers as proof of a "double standard" is -- wait for it -- because the U.S. doesn't get reimbursed when it provides aid in natural disasters like earthquakes, and because many of the countries involved, several of which are dirt poor, receive American foreign aid.

Here are the petty pair's first few paragraphs:

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2010 | 10:36 AM EDT
ObamaAndSpillCommissionCoChairs0610The presidential commission tasked with investigating the BP oil spill is so short on technical expertise and packed with left-leaning politicians and knee-jerk environmentalists that even the Associated Press's resident ClimateGate apologist Seth Borenstein is concerned.

On December 12, 2009, over two weeks after the ClimateGate e-mails first appeared, Borenstein wrote that "the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions." What part of Kevin Trenberth's famous October 12, 2009 assertion that "The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t" did Seth not understand?

Nonetheless, non-skeptical Seth is somewhat taken aback at the lack of expertise in the spill commission's membership:

Obama spill panel big on policy, not engineering

The panel appointed by President Barack Obama to investigate the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is short on technical expertise but long on talking publicly about "America's addiction to oil." One member has blogged about it regularly.

By Matt Hadro | June 17, 2010 | 6:37 PM EDT
If you take MSNBC's Luke Russert's words at face value, you would think the Democrats are going to win big this November–all thanks to Rep. Joe Barton's (R-Texas) comments on the Obama administration's treatment of BP, and their "shakedown" of the company via the escrow fund.

"A lot of Democrats see this as the ammunition they need to directly tie the Republican Party with that of big oil," Russert summarized.

Barton expressed his disapproval at the hearing for the White House's treatment of BP in forcing them to agree to the $20 billion escrow fund, calling it a "shakedown." MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer was visibly irritated during her news hour with the statement, and Russert called it a "really big blunder."

However, as NewsBusters reported, MSNBC's own Ed Schultz was ecstatic yesterday over the very actions of the White House, and spoke positively of the "shakedown."
By Ken Shepherd | June 17, 2010 | 5:12 PM EDT
In a satellite interview with Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) held shortly before 1 p.m. EDT today, MSNBC's Contessa Brewer criticized Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) for denouncing the president for pushing BP to agree to a $20-billion escrow account for oil spill damages as a "shakedown":

So, there's Joe Barton calling the $20 billion in escrow a shakedown, and as you point out, there are people in your district who have lost their livelihoods! They wonder how they can feed their families!

But yesterday, Brewer's MSNBC colleague Ed Schultz used similar language to voice his giddy approval of President Obama's maneuvering :

By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 17, 2010 | 3:39 PM EDT
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan on June 17 joined forces to lambaste "Morning Joe" co-host Joe Scarborough for continuing to defend President Barack Obama's handling of the BP oil spill.

Scarborough presented a litany of arguments in Obama's defense, but Giuliani and Ratigan countered with specific examples of the president's failed leadership. Regurgitating liberal talking points, Scarborough blamed the crisis on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

"We hear that we had the technology to stop this," Scarborough claimed. "In 2002, though, Dick Cheney and his energy task force said, 'No, we're not going to take an extra step.'"

Giuliani responded with an eviscerating counter punch: "It's important to know as part of the history of this but the reality is, he's been president now for 18 months. It's about time we stopped blaming Bush."
By Alex Fitzsimmons | June 16, 2010 | 5:27 PM EDT
Despite widespread criticism of President Barack Obama's Oval Office address on the Gulf oil spill–including flak from MSNBC's left-wing posse of Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, and Howard Fineman–ABC's Terry Moran and George Stephanopoulos on the June 15 "Nightline" fawned over the president's speech and ignored its obvious shortcomings.

In recapping the address, Moran could not contain his adulation for Obama's ability to assert his presidential authority and inspire the nation:
  • "For the first time in the Oval Office, President Obama addressed the nation. A nation anxious and doubtful about his leadership on the environmental catastrophe that's unfolded in the Gulf for 57 days. So, the main goal tonight, show the country he's truly in charge."
  • "President Obama, who finished a two-day trip to the Gulf Coast this afternoon, clearly wanted to project power in his handling with the oil spill, and the most direct way to do that is to use the language of war of the commander-in-chief."
  • "As the cleanup efforts continue to grapple with the giant spill, residents all along the coast have grown more and more worried, more and more angry and the president spoke to that directly tonight, and he made a promise."
  • "At the end, like so many in the Oval Office before him, President Obama asked for prayers."